Business, Finance & Economics

FDA detains orange juice with illegal fungicide from Brazil, Canada


The FDA detained shipments of orange juice from Brazil and Canada found to contain an illegal fungicide.


Joe Raedle

Shipments of orange juice from Brazil and Canada were detained by the US after they were found to contain an illegal fungicide, the Associated Press reported

Though the Food and Drug Administration said that the juice is safe to drink, the fungicide, carbendazim, is not approved for use in the United States. Any juice that contains traces of it must be detained, according to FDA policies

Carbendazim is used in other countries to combat mold on orange trees, Reuters reported. Canada, which makes up less than 1 percent of the US's orange juice imports, does not grow its own oranges, but processes juice from other countries. 

Three shipments of Brazilian orange juice and six from Canada containing the fugicide were blocked.

The fungus scare came to a head two weeks ago, when the FDA announced that Coca-Cola had found carbendazim in juice samples from Brazil, according to Reuters.  

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The FDA said 29 of the 80 orange juice samples it had taken since testing began on January 4 were safe, including two from Brazil and seven from Canada.

The US hopes to reduce the use of fugicides in orange-growing. 

“If the agency identifies orange juice with carbendazim at levels that present a public health risk, it will alert the public to take the necessary action to ensure that the product is removed from the market,” FDA official Nega Beru wrote In a letter to the Juice Products Association earlier this month.

Orange juice futures increased almost 3 percent in reaction to the FDA testing, but remained below a record high, after traders worried regulators would ban all orange juice from Brazil, a top orange grower which supplies half of all US orange juice imports, Reuters reported. 

More from GlobalPost: Orange juice prices hit record high